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Mobile Monday: Apple Arcade Cancels Some Games in Strategy Shift, Global App Revenue Reaches $50 Billion in the First Half of 2020

Posted Jul 5, 2020

The subscription model for mobile game monetization has been a hot topic for the industry since tech giants launched their own services. In the past two years, all eyes have been on Google Play Pass and Apple Arcade to see if the model benefits developers and consumers alike. In a strategy shift, Apple Arcade has recently canceled the development of a few games. Meanwhile, global app revenue expected to hit $50 billion in the first half of 2020. Learn all about it in this week’s Mobile Monday!

Apple Arcade Cancels Contacts for Games Based on Engagement

Apple has canceled contracts for games that were set to be part of Apple Arcade in a strategy shift. According to Bloomberg, the titles would no longer be available in the mobile game subscription service as the company was looking to focus on games with higher levels of “engagement.” The shift in strategy is aimed at retaining subscribers beyond the one-month free trial they’re initially offered. Apple Arcade, which was launched in September 2019, costs $4.99 per month with an option for an annual membership at $49.99.

So far, Apple has invested more than $1 million on games developed exclusively for the subscription service. Of the 125 titles available, Apple specified puzzle-action title Grindstone as an example of what they would like on the platform. Reports have indicated that the change in strategy may be a sign that subscriber growth is not as strong as expected. Currently, Apple Arcade’s subscriber count numbers are not publicly known.

Global App Revenue Up 23% Year-Over-Year

Preliminary Sensor Tower projections through June 30 show that consumers spent a combined total of $50.1 billion worldwide on the App Store and Google Play in the first half of 2020. This total is 23% more than the $40.6 billion estimated during the same period in 2019. Previously, revenue had increased by 20% between the first half of 2018 and 2019.  H1 2020’s significant growth reflects a trend of greater overall spending as a result of COVID-19’s impact on global app usage.

According to Sensor Tower’s data, app installs reached 71.5 billion during the first half of 2020, up 26 year-over-year. The App Store accounted for 18.3 billion representing a 23% growth year-over-year. Google Play garnered 53.2 billion downloads which is a 27% jump from, same period in 2019. The number of downloads from Google’s platform was nearly three times higher than those on the App Store.

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